In Brussels I noticed a poster that was advertising Pete Tong. He is one of the most legendary dj’s in UK, most famous for his Essential mix show on BBC Radio 1. I haven’t followed much his DJ work, but Essential guest mixes by Paul Oakenfold and other dj’s truly belong to the history of dance music. I did not take much time to decide that I must be in that party.
On Sunday evening I took train from Leuven to Hasselt, where Pete Tong was going to play. This was quite small town, but that Sunday night was nothing else than quiet evening. They had an event called DJ-City — about 20 dj’s playing in different bars, pubs and street cafes. House music everywhere, just like in Ibiza.
After visiting some bars I went to Club Versuz. From the outside it looked like some shed, but interior was really stylish. Warm up was done by some local dj’s who were playing mostly progressive house.
It took quite long time to wait for the headliner, but finally at 2:30 the lights went off. Two apples were shining through the darkness. The real dj booth had been behind the curtain — just like famous rock bands have their own drums and guitar amps. Besides two Apple laptops there were 3 CDJ 1000 cd players and EFX 1000 effects unit, that is really crazy setup.
Pete played most of his set with Ableton Live, I saw him using CD’s only for a few times. The music itself was a seamless trip to progressive and vocal house, nothing too hard, nothing too cheesy. He controlled the whole crowd and it was magic. After 4 AM they started to give whistles to the people at the dancefloor. People were blowing their whistles, somebody had a drum with him, … I remember similar euphoria only from Atmosph(e)re 8, when hundreds of air balloons were let down to the dancefloor.
I did not expect anything so special, but this party was really amazing. This guy had his first dj set in 1975, he introduced house music to UK in 1986 and he is still among the innovators. There are not many big dj’s who are using Ableton Live or having a podcast.